Local musician writes song to honour S R Nathan
The number of times he had spoken to Mr S R Nathan can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
But from those few encounters, singer-songwriter Clement Chow, 55, grew to respect this "man of the people".
His admiration for the former president, who died on Monday, spurred the veteran artist to write a song to honour him.
Mr Chow, who recorded and sang popular National Day song Count on Me, Singapore, gathered a crew and started working on it on Wednesday morning.
The song, A Man Of The People, was made available to the public today (Aug 26).
Mr Chow told The New Paper yesterday: "We did it just because we can. Nobody promised us anything, so I don't care about what's in it for us. That's not the point.
"The artists know there is no payment. We know that this is an opportunity to just be a community and share our gift and talent."
The song encapsulates Mr Nathan's story from when he was young, and his dedication to Singapore.
"He's a man with setbacks but he doesn't feel like one. We want to mirror that and continue to take courage from that," said Mr Chow.
All it took was a suggestion from the songwriter's friend on Tuesday night to get the ball rolling.
Soon, he was sending out text messages to the local music community to see who was keen to take part.
The respondents included singer Beverly Morata and comedian Suhaimi Yusof.
It did not matter that Suhami is not a trained singer. "It's about the people who want to be a part of it," said Mr Chow.
They recorded the song in a studio at the School of Music and the Arts for free, thanks to the school's executive director Keith Kwok.
Little Red Ants Creative Studio came on board and filmed the crew producing and singing the song.
From Wednesday morning till 5am yesterday, Mr Chow and his crewworked tirelessly, with only three hours of sleep in between.
His passion in this project in part stems from his personal experiences with Mr Nathan.
"I feel like I could be myself in front of him," said Mr Chow who has played the piano in the presence of Mr Nathan at a friend's house.
Perhaps his fondest memory of Mr Nathan is a simple gesture that spoke volumes about the former president.
"I've seen so many incidents where we put our hands on the president when posing for photos and an aide would swipe our hands off. But Mr Nathan held my arm."
Mr Chow hopes to present the song to Madam Urmila Nandi, 87.
"I hope this could be a gift for her to know that people are honouring her husband."